Gardening in the summertime can be a really fun and rewarding task, with warmth in the air and lush greenery around, here are some tips to help you along your green-fingered journey.
Local is lekker
South Africa is a country boasting a vast array of plants, all native to the region. These should always be first choice in your garden. Indigenous plants have already adapted to living and thriving in your region, requiring far less care and attention than do those that need help to thrive. They are also water wise and thrive on the slightly harsher South African climate. The perfect gardening solution!
Eating your own
It is often difficult, and costly, to find organic food that hasn’t been sprayed with harsh chemicals. A great away around this is devoting part of your garden to fruits, vegetables and herbs that you would want to eat. Not only can you ensure completely organic produce, but you will also be able to eat your own produce instead of buying it.
One for the birds
One of the most common concerns people have when caring for their gardens is the pests that plague their leaves. Finding an environmentally friendly solution whenever possible is always key to a healthy garden. Hang up bird feeders and nesting boxes to attract birds. They are among the most efficient consumers of insects and will help control the pest population while bringing beautiful chirping into your garden.
It’s never too mulch
Wood chips spread over your garden beds help you to conserve valuable water, so investing in a shredder is a good idea. When pruning back trees and shrubs, shred the cuttings and use it as mulch. In time, they will break down and enrich the topsoil, and until then this mixture helps to keep the soil nice and moist.
Yellow, it’s me…
Some species of pests are, oddly enough, attracted to yellow. This often means that they burrow into the yellow heads of your flowers and slowly kill off your beautiful flowers. You can foil them, however, by putting a large yellow or orange bucket of water near the plants. Many of the problem insects and beetles will be attracted to it, thinking this is a flower banquet and fall in with predictable results.
Weed out the bad ones
Weeds can be effectively done away with in and around paved areas by making up a boiling salt-water mixture. A couple of tablespoons of salt in a litre bucket of boiling water will do the trick, pouring it over the weeds. It will seep into the roots and kill the weed. If you’re concerned with conserving water, you can just pour salt over the plants or moss you want gone. Salt is hydroscopic (it attracts moisture), so it gradually dissolves and seeps down to the roots, killing off the weed.
With vibrant summer colours all around, we all want to enjoy our garden as much as possible, making it a place where we can relax in the sun. With these great tips, you’re on your way to creating a beautiful garden to enjoy all summer long.